Spring is in the air and as the trees bud and flowers bloom, our students and staff are anticipating the end of the school year. What an incredible year it has been. Tradition is an important part of Judaism and our religious programming. This year our students once again enjoyed being part of the World Wide Wrap and participated in the Yad Workshop. Our annual Purim Megillah Reading and Carnival lived up to its name as the Happiest Purim on Earth thanks to the many volunteers from the Youth Committee, USY, Kadima, Limmud and Koolanu. The 3rd grade Siddur Ceremony took place during our March Shabbaton. Integrating this rite of passage into a Shabbat morning service was very special as the students used the siddurim they received to lead the congregation in prayer. If you had the privilege of attending this service you witnessed parents presenting their children with their very own siddurim which were enveloped in covers they decorated together. On the inside cover of each siddur was a personal message to each student from his/her parents. One by one the parents read their heartfelt words to their children as they presented them with their siddurim in front of the congregation. I, like many, was moved to tears by these beautiful and personal exchanges. The smiles on the faces of the children and the sparkles in their eyes as they received their siddurim and listened with pride to their parents remarks was a site to behold. The memories of this special ceremony will surely stay with these families for many years to come.
This year we also introduced some exciting new programming to Limmud. Our First Friday Night Services and Dinners and Family Shabbat Services each featured specific grades and gave our students an opportunity to participate in services. The dinners also provided families with a chance to get to know one another. On February 11th we held a Mishloach Manot Mitzvah Day to give all of our students an opportunity to participate in Tikkun Olam. Our Limmud students baked more than 200 delicious hamantaschen, which they placed in beautifully decorated bags. Parent volunteers helped with every component of this school-wide program including delivering the Mishloach Manot to Jewish seniors in the community. In addition, our Koolanu teens made PB&J sandwiches for guests at Asbury Dining Center. TBE’s 6-8th grade students hosted their peers from the First Unitarian Church on March 25th for an Interfaith Learning Program. This is the first of what we hope will be many opportunities for our students to engage with students from our community and other faiths to learn and grow together. In addition, this year the Education Committee invited Limmud madrichim to their meetings to share their respective curriculum and key learnings. These discussions have proven to be both informative and enlightening.
As the school year winds down, I want to thank the students and parents with whom the Limmud staff has partnered throughout the school year. It is through these collaborative relationships that we have and will continue to develop our Jewish knowledge, identities and pride. Thank you also to the Limmud staff for their commitment, passion and creativity. Our students have learned a great deal thanks to their efforts. The staff is busy preparing year end progress reports. Look for them in your mailbox in early June. You should have already received your registration for the 2018-2019 school year. We will be adding some exciting new content to the curriculum come fall so stay tuned.
The halls of Limmud will soon be much too quiet as your children head off to summer camp and vacation. Be sure to stop by and say hi when you are in the neighborhood.